Home sales heat up - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Home sales heat up

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The real estate market is on fire, according to one Kansas City metro realtor. It's a far cry from where it was at just a few years ago.

In April of last year, about 4.5 million homes were sold. This year nearly 5 million homes were sold nationwide - that's an increase of almost 10 percent.

The low interest rates have a lot to do with why many people are feeling confident in the post-2008 economy. Some are choosing to invest in homes and sell them for a profit, a practice many call flipping. All of that is creating a high demand for real estate.

Josh Gabriel learned quickly how high the demand for houses was when he listed his home.

"We put our house on the market. We went on vacation. It sold in three days, and now we're in the process of trying to find a house," Gabriel said.

Now the process to find a house hasn't been as easy.

"It's a bit of a surprise, and it's been kind of an eye-opener as we've been trying to find a house," he said.

Gabriel's friend, Chris Coulson, said he's hoping some of that sellers' luck will rub off. He has listed his home in Reinhardt Estates in Fairway, KS, and hopes it will sell in about a month.

"Things are kind of flying pretty quickly in this neighborhood, and I'm hoping that mine follows suit," Coulson said.

This is the most robust the real estate market has been since 2008 when the economy went into free fall and fell into a recession, ironically triggered by the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

During those days, realtor Cory Ward was selling about eight houses a month. Today, he's moving at least 20 a month.

"The low interest rates obviously have driven people to buy maybe larger houses than they would have if the rates weren't so low, so there's always a little bit of worry," Ward said.

As for Gabriel, he made an offer Friday on a property that hasn't been formally listed, which is also a new trend for the desperate buyer.

"That's kind of what you have to do at this point. If you're lucky enough to find something like that and get in early, then you get the jump on all the competition," he said.

According to Bankrate.com, interest rates in the Kansas City metro will vary from 3.7 up to 4.58 percent. That's for a 30-year fixed mortgage.

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